XR650L or XR650R for 90% road use?

I'm trying to decide between a XR650L and a street-plated XR650R as a dual purpose mount. My usage is 90/10 Street/trail. I don't mind putting more street orientated tires on the R-model as well as DOT lighting and turn signals. Lack of electric start is not an issue. My questions are:

Both motors are counterbalanced-is there one that is smoother than the other for operator comfort?

Is the lack of a cush hub on the R model a big issue?

Given the same exhaust sound level- will the R make more power? (In the forests here we are limited to 94dB and I can't exceed that). I got the impression here that power is directly proportional to noise for the XR650R.


i don't have or have ever ridden a l. but i ride my r on the street all the time. if you are willing to do the leg work why wouldn't you want a lighter bike, faster motor, liquid cooling, and better tech. the l is pretty outdate. not to say the r model isn't but the l is even further behind.

The L is fine for most people. There are plenty of peopl rideing both out dated bikes that can't use either bikes to there fullest.

The L will be the smoother road bike sure. Neither bike has a cush drive hub.

The L is fine for most people. There are plenty of peopl rideing both out dated bikes that can't use either bikes to there fullest.

That is for sure, most will never reach any of the two bike's limits or potential, despite being outdated, but reliability and performance are still there...:lol::applause:

I've had both. The L will be better, without mods, on 100+ mile trips. Much less power than an R. Better mileage but very soft suspension & more weight. The R is better in every other way (except for the magic button) so long as you're willing to put on an aftermarket seat (GUTS soft foam & cover cost $120) & a rewound stator for sufficient electrical output to run the street legal stuff safely (you can rewind your stock stator for about $30). Noise will be an issue with either bike if you want more performance but an uncorked R with the stock exhaust has considerably more power. Expect an R to get between 40-50 MPG. An unmodified L will do more like 60 MPG. Honestly, I'd be happy with either one but having come from riding/racing dirt bikes for many years I got kinda bored with the L though I'd still have it had it not been melted away in a garage fire. Just finished a 70 mile ride on my R with no issues with the new GUTS seat. It's so much fun I feel a little guilty.

Go with the L, you'll like it. For the riding you are describing it will suit you better then the R imo. The L's are still my workhorses for road miles. I save the R for hot roddin, speed fix, dirtin, more pain at the pump and shorter rides. But that's just me.:applause:

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